he saved himself...

when i think back to what happened or really what could have happened on saturday i find myself still full of fear, guilt and shame.

we were at a cookout with lots of friends. lots of adults and lots, i mean lots, of kids. we were invited by the hosts' neighbors to use their swimming pool. we got the kids ready and jamil headed over with the three big kids. i was following close behind with the baby, even though she was being held by someone else.

when i got to the pool, i surveyed the scene, i saw the my 4 year old, jesiah, jumping into the "baby pool" and my 8 year old, josh, in the big pool. cool. i realized my 5 year old, jordyn was missing. and so was my hubby. i found out that they were inside using the bathroom. ok then. not only had we invaded our friends' neighbors pool, now we are invading their bathroom. great. i was chatting with our friends and watching jesiah jumping in and out of the pool.

and this is the part that came undone. and still leaves me shaking. and i remember very little leading up to it. jamil had come out with the 5 year old. i started putting swimmies (those inflatable arm things) on her. that is when i remembered that jesiah was fearlessly jumping in and out of the pool. and i think i remember seeing him in the big pool. now, i have to tell you that he just started jumping into the pool and going under this summer. and with a life jacket. as i am putting the swimmie thingys on jordyn, i think to myself, jesiah really should be wearing these. and of course, our second set was not a complete set we could only fine 1 swimmy as we were packing for our outing.

i walk the few feet over to the pool to look for jesiah and that is when i see him. swimming. in the big pool. without swimmies or a life jacket. all by himself. but barely swimming. perhaps even struggling a bit. he is gasping for air. and trying to keep himself above water. jamil was right there and i said "look at jesiah." loudly. my instinct was to grab him or have jamil grab him. but we do neither. jamil said "wait, look, he is doing it himself." but barely.

jesiah reaches the side of the pool, he was only about 3 feet away. and he pulls himself out of the pool. and i am full of fear, i am shaking. i knew he wasn't drowning. but it was close. he pulled himself out. he saved himself. i realize this. but still i think what if...

then he starts vomitting all over the side of the pool. the pool that belongs to the neighbors who we don't even know. nice. after he was done throwing up, he was scared. because of throwing up. he didn't realize what he had just done. he saved himself. and he had swam to the side of the pool. he wasn't really scared about the swimming, just the throwing up part.

i can't tell you how many times i have replayed this situation in my head. i can't even tell you how many times i am so mad at myself for not remembering exactly what happened or if it was his first time in the big pool by himself. or had he jumped several other times? i can't remember exactly the situation. i was full of guilt and full of shame that this happened. i put jesiah in a situation he wasn't ready for. i wasn't careful enough. yes, his swimming skills, allowed him to save himself. but barely. i know he wasn't ready to swim on his own. and there he is in the pool, because of my careless mistake. i let him take on a big situation he was too little for. that i can't forget.

i have tried to let go of the guilt and the shame, but it is so hard. even though it turned out ok in the end, it really, really scared me. i have heard several stories this summer of several kids drowning or nearly drowning. this could have been my little boy. i am so proud of him that he didn't panic and he didn't get scared and he swam without any help, without a life jacket, without an adult nearby. but i am still scared, still shaking because of the what ifs...

i will not allow this to happen again. i feel we were really blessed. i know God was looking out for my little boy. i feel like in a way i was given a warning, a second chance to be more carelfu. the kids outnumber the adults in nearly every situation we are in, so from now on, when we are at a pool, my little kids will wear a life jacket or swimmies. no. matter. what.

* i wasn't sure if i was going to share this post or not, for fear of what people would think, but i decided that it was worth putting myself out there.


Susan said...

it sounds alot like davis...he taught himself how to swim without swimmies while we were at my parents house. the first few times i was freaked out but he really got the hang of it. the hard thing for me was that, he got really good at it really quick and i found myself not being as watchful as i should have been. there was one time when he jumped into the pool with no one in it (even though we were all sitting right there) and i freaked and jumped in after him even though he was doing fine - i think i scared him even more. he's definitely not ready to swim alone...

The Aspenberg Family said...

Dawn, I'm so sorry this happened!! I could only imagine what has and is going through your mind! I'm praying for you this week!

The Aspenberg Family said...

Dawn, I'm so sorry this happened!! I could only imagine what has and is going through your mind! I'm praying for you this week!

Jess said...

it's good - better than good - to put yourself out there...we can learn from this, too.

how terrifying.

oh, dawn.

Adventures In Babywearing said...

I of course understand and am so glad everything was ok.


Stephanie said...

I am sure that did make you nervous, but it is a good thing that y'all let him do it himself. I think you would have scared him if you jumped in. Could have made it worse.

Don't be embarassed about it!

Glad everything turned out ok.

Jenny said...

Thanks for sharing this!!! I am sure that was so scary for you!!! I'm glad Jesiah was okay and good for him to know that he should swim to the side of the pool!!!

This is a good reminder for me too! Riley can swim, but I know sometimes I take it for granted and don't pay as much attention to him as I should!!

Your a GREAT mom!!!